Monday, August 29, 2011

Fiesta Dresses, Squaw Dresses, Mexican dresses...
 While the girls were here this summer, we devoted one afternoon (along with Sisi) to prepare this fashion show inventorying some of our Fiesta Fashions. In this installment, I will be posting photos only of true "Fiesta/Squaw Dresses (with ric-rac etc). Later on I will post the Mexican, Spanish, Indian and Novelty dresses. The dress in this photo came from La Veguita, NM. It is a mid-purple light cotton two piece dress and is homemade. It features silver and white ric-rac and braid. It is full circle skirt.. Rating: *****
You, gentle readers, will have to wait until the very bottom of this enormous post before you can find out why this Gans paisley  fiesta dress is finally perfect and why it rates a perfect rating: *****

Actually, these two photos were inadvertly left out of the Fashion Show post and the only way to include them was to post them at the top of the posting. but it does give you the flavor of the photo show to come. This is Sisi modeling a JEANETTE'S ORIGINAL, ALBUQUERQUE squaw dress design featuring a black and turquoise cotton bi-tone two-piece dress with intricate pleating on the full circle skirt. It is trimmed with white, gold and yellow ric-rac and braid. Due to the fine craftsmanship, it earns a rating of: ****

Bianca is wearing a newly acquired black cotton raincloth two-piece squaw dress by TAILORED BY THUNDERBIRD, PRESCOTT, ARIZONA. The arrow motif top and the skirt are embellished with lots of black white, turquoise and silver ric-rac and braid. Very flashy! Rating: ****

This rich brown cotton squaw dress is by JEANETTE ORIGINAL, ALBUQUERQUE. It is two pieces and features gold ric-rac and braid. Rating: ***

This is a very sturdy yellow one piece fiesta dress with green, red, and black ric-rac and black braid with red roses. It fits many sizes and is a favorite of the girl's friends--appeared in the PLAYGIRL spread shot at Cielo Azul. Rating: ****
Sisi is modeling a two piece creme cotton squaw dress by THUNDERBIRD FASHIONS, PRESCOTT, ARIZONA. It has a full circle skirt with pleating. It features both gold and silver ric-rac, but because it is somewhat stingy in it's embellishments, it rates: ***
Kiki is modeling a full circle bi-tone (Aqua and creme) cotton raincloth fiesta skirt. It features gold and turquoise ric-rac and Peacock braid. Rating: ****
This bright blue cotton two-piece squaw dress is different in that none of it's embellishments are metallic--I guess it is your "daytime" fiesta dress!The trim on it is white, black and grey and it is a full circle skirt. It was made by TORIA TASSI ORIGINALS, PHOENIX. Rating: ***
This two-piece Aqua cotton raincloth squaw dress by FAYE CREATIONS, ALBUQUERQUE is being modeled by Bianca with a crinoline underneath. It features silver, pink, and white ric-rac and braid. It is a full circle skirt. Rating: ***
This dusty rose one piece squaw dress from THUNDERBIRD FASHIONS, PRESCOTT, ARIZONA has quite the interesting story. Many years ago, we purchased a sealed box at the Storage Auctions and this dress was inside along with some other things. At that time, it was solid black with silver ric-rac. It was my one and only fiesta dress! After years of wear it became faded and I dyed it black to refresh the color, but was horrified that all the metallic ric-rac was also dyed black and was hardly noticeable. After a few years of wearing it in that state, I used color remover that took out all of the color from the cotton raincloth, but not from the ric-rac. By that time, I had several other fiesta dresses, so I chose to dye it a color that I was lacking--thusly the pink that came out a rather pale shade. Despite all the wear and tear, it is still quite popular among our Big City fiesta guests that come with the girls and last year Shannon wore it to utter raves..............Rating (due to condition): ***
Here is Shannon in the pale pink dress with the rest of the San Francisco cuties.....
This homemade yellow and coral cotton bi-tone squaw dress features the most modest top ever featured on a fiesta fashion! It features copper and brown ric-rac and would be well suited to that uptight librarian from the movies for her fiesta dress. The girls plan to wear it this Fiesta, but I seriously doubt that they will wear it with this top. Rating (due to intricate and lovely skirt): ****

In fact, here it is with a different style top.....

Baby Binks is modeling a truly lovely cotton fiesta skirt with loads of lovely teal, black and silver ric-rac and braid as well as permanent pleats on the full circle. This is a homemade treasure. Rating: ****
Keekers is modeling a short powder blue homemade fiesta skirt that is literally dripping is silver ric-rac and braid. Because of condition problems, this skirt is rated: **
I'm wearing a crinoline under this bi-color cotton two-piece squaw dress from ARIZONA FASHIONS. the dress is in tones of creme and Olive and the permanently pleated full circle skirt features brown, gold, pink and mahogany ric-rac and gold and black braid. This is truly a quality fiesta dress and it gets the highest rating: *****
That little cowpoke Binky is modeling another fabulous squaw dress! This black and copper bi-tone (the copper cloth is featured in the neckline) and scads of copper ric-rac and braid. One of my favorites, this two piece fiesta dress has a full circle skirt. Rating: *****
Chiara took this skirt home with her last year as part of her own personal collection. It is a full circle cotton raincloth fiesta skirt with very heavy silver ric-rac and braid. It wowed them at Tinys! Rating: ***
Sisi is modeling one of my favorite one-piece squaw dresses. This aqua cotton raincloth bi-tone fiesta dress is by ASPEN SPORTSWEAR. It features a full circle skirt and has silver, gold and white ric-rac and white lace trim. Rating: ****
This is a lesser black cotton raincloth one piece squaw dress. Like many of the one-piece dresses, the waistline is sometimes too high, and it it not a full circle skirt. This dress has silver ric-rac and silver and black braid. rating: **

Another special squaw dress! This cotton raincloth beauty in copper color features a very elaborate collar design that is mostly hidden by Bink's hair. It is a two-piece fiesta dress by BO-MAR HANDICRAFTS, SEDONA, ARIZONA. It has a full circle skirt and copper ric-rac and braid. Only some slight fading keeps it from my top rating. Rating: ****

The detailing on the top is more apparent in this shot.........

A very chic number by EVA'S OF SANTA FE. This olive two-piece squaw dress is of cotton raincloth. The slightly Art Deco styling features a blouson top that can be worn out and silver ric-rac and braid. Rating: ****
While most of these dresses are fifties styles, here is one from the sixties. It is a red cotton paisley two-piece fiesta dress by SIMPLY LINDEE, SANTA FE, HOLLYWOOD. It does not have a full circle skirt. Rating: **
Sisi is modeling a crisp white synthetic blend one-piece fiesta dress by FAYE CREATIONS,PATIO FASHIONS, TUCSON, ARIZONA. Squaw dress It has a full circle skirt and features red and silver ric-rac and braid. Rating: ***
Another squaw dress without a full circle skirt, this turquoise cotton raincloth dress from CIMARRON STYLES features black, silver and white ric-rac and braid. Rating: ***
Another fiesta dress that would probably be unrecognizable to it's maker, this once white and gold two piece cotton JEANETTE OF ALBUQUERQUE dress is now completely orangish coral--including all trim thanks to another dye job by yours truly. Rating: **

This skirt is part of Chiara's fiesta dress collection--the top is probably in New York! It is a traditional Navajo style top, but she shredded and tied it in a very unique way to create a very happening modern dress from a 1950s favorite. the dress is a bi tone cotton print with all the embellishment being in the metallic Indian images in the print. Since it is no longer mine, perhaps I shouldn't rate it, but I will anyway. Because of the full circle skirt and reworked top, Rating: ****
This is a very rare item, I will call it the Abiqui skirt. The Museum of New Mexico (who has a much smaller Fiesta Dress collection than either Sylvia or myself) had a similar two piece dress on display for it's small fiesta exhibit. The accompanying information cards said that it was designed by a woman from up North who used the varying colors of soil in Abiqui to dye the cloth these muted shades. It is a cotton full circle and full length skirt with ruffles in varying shades of pink and grey. Because of it's rarity, the rating is : ***

Sylvia is flouncing a creme colored Homemade two-piece full circle skirt squaw dress with a plethora a tiny copper ric-rac and Braid. For the craftsmanship, the rating is: ****
This is "La Reina" of the Fiesta Dresses!--By far, the most elaborate dress I own!! It is a DESERT FLOWER ORIGINAL, ALBUQUERQUE two-piece cotton squaw dress with very elaborate embellishments of gold, silver turquoise and white ric-rac and braid. the top is slightly off white with split sleeves and the skirt is a metallic silver base with permanent pleating. This dress recieves my top rating: *****
Another ric-rac extravaganza! This skirt is part of a two piece black cotton squaw dress ensemble with scads of silver ric-rac and braid in silver. It is not a full circle skirt. The top is also very decorated in the same manner and has puff sleeves. It is currently in San Francisco as it is now part of Bianca's personal collection, none the less I will rate it: ***

A brand new addition: a contemperary one piece cotton paisley fiesta dress with black knit top and black lace on the skirt. It is a full circle skirt and can be worn on or off the shoulder. Rating: ***
The first of my MADE IN OLD SANTA FE BY GANSCRAFT squaw dresses. My Grandpa Gomez was a career employee of Gans and would line up all of his granddaughters prior to Fiesta each year and fete us with a pair of moccasins (all worn out by the end of Fiesta) and our individual Fiesta dresses. All Gans dresses get an automatic three star rating for sentimental reasons, but this one deserves even more. It is a bicolor cotton raincloth design with silver and black braid and red and silver ric-rac on the skirt and top--including the sleeves. This plackard top closes with silver buttons and the full circle skirt has permanent pleating. Rating: *****

This skirt with a different top.....
This rather plain black raincloth semi-full circle fiesta skirt with silver ric-rac and braid has some wear and tear on it--I feel that is indicative of it being involved in lots of Fiesta fun and shenanigans! For that reason, the rating is: **
This is Binky's first purchase for her own collection of fiesta Dresses  and what a beauty it is! It is a JEANETTE ORIGINAL, ALBUQUERQUE cotton raincloth full circle bi-tone squaw dress in coral and white. It sports silver ric-rac and braid and pleating. I borrowed it for the Baile de Cascarones this spring and got many compliments! Rating: *****

This is how she will probably wear it for Fiesta. The girls perfer contemporary tops to "funkify" the old style dresses--pretty cool!
This is one of my personal favorites. It is a onepiece bitone raincloth design by DOLLY'S FASHIONS, EXETER, CALIFORNIA squaw dress . Because of the many proplems often associated with one piece designs, it has taken considerable alteration to get it to fit somewhat properly, none the less, I love the design and the turquoise and silver ric-rac. a real winner--rating: *****

Sisi is modeling a one-piece synthetic raincloth squaw dress with green ric-rac and gold braid. It has a full circle skirt, but the waistline is problematic. Rating: ***
Another one-piece cotton raincloth squaw dress without a full skirt. It has silver ric-rac and white and silver braid. Except for the vibrant turquoise color, it is rather homely. Rating: **

Kiki is one of the few ladies tiny enough to wear this charming DESERT ORIGINAL, ALBUQUERQUE bi-tone cotton squaw dress. It's embellishments are silver and black ric-rac and black and silver braid.. Because of the small size of this fiesta dress, I was able to buy it at a garage sale last month for $5. Rating: ****
This is a no-nonsense terra cotta colored heavy cotton semi-full circle squaw dress that might be appropros for SARAH, STRAIGHT AND TALLas her fiesta dress. It has turquoise and light brown ric-rac and is a one piece dress with no waist issues. Rating: **
Another MADE IN OLD SANTA FE BY GANSCRAFT dress! the vivid bluish turquoise two-piece cotton raincloth bi-tone squaw dress has a full circle skirt and permanent pleating. It sports lots of silver trim and ric-rac. Rating: ****
Because it was not fully visible in the other photo, here is the top close up so that you can see the sleve detail and the white collar...............
Which leads us to a true sentimental favorite! This teal shaded turquoise cotton rain cloth skirt is also a MADE IN OLD SANTA FE BY GANSCRAFT design and is the same pattern as the dress above except in different shades of turquoise, black bitone instead of white and gold trim instead of silver. This skirt is a legacy from Dwight's mother who died before we were ever married and it has been a favorite of all of ours for many, many years despite the fact that the top was lost long before I even met Dwight.This squaw dress may as yet be completed....
 Top rating, for sentimental reasons: *****
Now, via the magic of Photoshop, here is a recreation of what the top to the above skirt must have looked like. If any of you gentle readers spot such a top at a tag sale or thrift shop, I will pay you top dollar for it!--above and beyond the $5 expenditure on the cute black and white number!

Now here is a real beauty! This cherry red cotton slouch top design is by DESERT FLOWER ORIGINALS, ALBUQUERQUE squaw dress . It has a pleated hem encrusted with lots and lots of silver ric-rac and silver and white braid. It is two pieces and the bat-sleeved top can be wore outside as well. Primo! Rating: ****
This cotton two-piece bi-tone (brown facing on collar) squaw dress has some condition problems, but it one of my favorites and I wear it quite often. Maybe it is because the non-metallic trim takes it out of the purely Fiesta Dress grouping, making it is more versatile. The full circle skirt has brown ric-rac and brown and blue braid. Rating: **** (Some bias applied here.)
This cottom bi-tone fiesta dress is legendary in our family--everyone has worn it! (Including Cinnamon Cubero at the PLAYGIRL photo shoot) It is hand designed out of white and bluish turquoise cotton in arrow designs and actually has five different choices for tops to complete the squaw dress. The designs are accentuated by turquoise and white braid. A gem! Top Rating: *****

THE FOUR TOPS!! (Yuk, yuk, I couldn't help myself!) In addition to the halter top Bianca is wearing in the photo above, this dress also has a round collar top, a tradition Navajo style top, a puff-sleeved peasant blouse and a v-neck almost off the shoulder top. If I could sew, I would split the round necked top, line it and make a little jacket. Oh, choices! choices!!

This one-piece olive raincloth squaw dress has a lot going for it. the shorter length adds versatility, it is a full circle, and it has lovely trim (silver ric-rac and silver and pink braid). However like many of the single piece fiesta dresses, it is seriously short waisted. for that reason, it gets a rating of: ***

This spectacular handmade cotton fiesta skirt is totally embellished with purple, pink and white ric-rac and white and silver braid. In stead of a traditional top, the designer made a pocketed matching shawl. Chiara is wearing it with a crinoline. rating: *****
another from Kiki's personal collection. This coral raincloth handmade two-piece fiesta dress is very unique. the gold braid embellished skirt is not a full circle, and the top is completely unadorned. It is also very tiny. Rating: ***
Another star of the collection, this light cotton bi-tone squaw dress has all the bells and whistles. It has beautiful pleating and lovely metallic gold blue and black ric-rac and braid. This two-piece fiesta dress gem is a JEANETTE'S ORIGINAL, ALBUQUERQUE design. Top rating: *****
Not all dresses are created equally! This handmade green cotton twopiece squaw dress is rather lacking in imagination. It has a full, albeit short, skirt and is trimmed with silver ric-rac and silver and white braid. Rating: **
A very versatile bi-tone, this cotton raincloth two piece dress squaw dress has looked lovely on many girls of varying sizes and coloring. It has a full skirt and generous gold and white ric-rac and braid. Some fading on the top keeps it from top rating: ****

Pristine white! This JEANETTES' ORIGINAL, ALBUQUERQUE design is in cotton rainclothsquaw dress  with silver ric-rac and braid. This two piece fiesta dress was given to me by my friend Tita--it was her mother's dress. There was a time when women were more petite than today. Rating:***
A tri-tone original isquaw dress n coral, creme and graphite! this homemade treasure sports silver ric-rac and braid. It has a full circle skirt and is one of my new fiesta dress favorites. Rating: *****
Sisi models an 80s style fiesta dress from OUT OF SANTA FE ORIGINAL BY JUST LINDEE who had a shop just a block from Sisi's house. This is a liquid metallic synthetic full-length style. Unfortunately, there has been some fading on what was a more vibrant pattern. Rating: ***
This is a tomatoe red cotton bi-tone squaw dress--the lace appearing trim is really printed fabric--that does not have a full circle skirt. The trim is the printed fabric and gold ric-rac. The top is kinda camp style. A rather unique Fiest dress. Rating for this homemade dress: **
Now this is some kinda squaw dress!!--perhaps too much dress for the erstwhile model. This cotton bi-tone fiesta dress by ALPHA SPORTSWEAR, TUCSON features precise pleating on the skirt and heavily embellished geometric designs. The full circle skirt two piece outfit features red, white and black ric-rac and braid. The many hours I have spent reparing newly made tears and rips demonstrate that a great deal of fun has been had in this skirt! Family rating: *****
Another classic!--the first Fiesta dress Dwight bought me when I was his new--and tiny-wife! This green and creme bi-tone squaw dress is two -piece and cotton. It sports copper ric-rac and trim and Sisi has made two pair of matching bead earrings and even a bracelet. Top rating: *****
Another versatile number! This cotton raincloth two piece squaw dress is totally wearable for many occasions. It does not have a full circle skirt, but the sleeveless top is great for summer. It features white and silver ric-rac and braid. Homemade. Rating: ****
Homemade fiesta dress with a flair! This light cotton bi-tone squaw dress shows some class in it's design of graphite and pale pink. The full circle skirt is pleated and embellished with silver, black and white ric-rac and braid. Rating: ****
A brand new (for me) mint green cotton squaw dress! This handmade fiesta dress contrasts the cool mint color with lively red, white and gold braid and gold ric-rac. It is a full circle skirt and I haven't as yet even worn it out to Fiesta! Rating: ****
The dress above also came with this bizarre little additional top with that fold over top sewn right into a v-neck top. I remarked: "Only a pin-head could get in that top!" and then proceeded to slip it right on! Oh well, if the top fits......................
The homeliest MADE IN OLD SANTA FE BY GANSCRAFT squaw dress ever made! This heavy cotton dress has a non-full, uneven hem skirt and very sparse silver braid, but it does have silver buttons. I am sure that Annabelle and Dora's mother never worked on this one! Rating--for sentimentl reasons only: ***

But we rebound with a gorgeous fiesta dress! This butter yellow two piece squaw dress is of cotton raincloth and is a design by ANNABELLA'S OF SANTA FE. It sports gold ric-rac and copper braid as well as metallic gold lace. Wonderful! The rating for this full circle skirt dress is a full *****
The ugly runt of the litter! This heavy cotton two-piece squaw dress looks like a Jr. High Home Ec product. It does not have a full skirt and has silver ric-rac and braid. It is, however, a nice color and several of our out-of-town visitors have selected it for their fiestaware. Rating: *
A versatile one-piece party fiesta dress! This dress is recently repaired after some hard partying and even though this cotton raincloth squaw dress is a one-piece, it fits many sizes--most recently, Giano's girlfriend had to slip it on after getting drenched enroute to our house. She looked great!
Another dress that made the PLAYGIRL shoot! Rating: ***
Another MADE IN OLD SANTA FE BY GANSCRAFT classic fiesta dress --or is it? Bianca modeled this dress for this fetching picture, but..................
A few days after the girls left, I found this lone paisly print skirt and so I posed for this shot--not knowing.........
That shortly I would find this unembellished camp shirt that matches this nice full cotton paisley skirt that I then realized had been mismatched with the Gans top on Bianca's photo. So................( Outfit rating: **)
Here is the original Gans top with it's proper skirt! OOOOOps! still wrong! I will get the right skirt and post another photo at the top of the blog in a few days. At any rate, the blouse is thin cotton with tiny ruffles down the front and on the sleeves and silver buttons on the placard and cuffs. Sorry for the mix-up--the rating for the corrected outfit will be: ***** It is a classic!
Note: correctly aged skirt and top are reunited and featured at the very top of this blog.)

Well, I hope you enjoyed the show and I hope it has gotten you in the mood for Fiesta! Where I guarentee: A GOOD TIME WILL BE HAD BY ALL!!
For Part II on the Capshaw collection (Spanish and Mexican dresses and new Squaw Dresses) follow this link:

For the Chavez Collection, follow this link:


Sisi said...

The Fiesta fashion show was fantastic! - worth the sweat and tears. Except for . . . What's up with the bizarre bustle in the liquid metallic number? I hope my inventory looks as good when we do it.

Anonymous said...

Oh Diana...

This is, too, too fabulous!

I love it....and you all look impossibly gorgeous...!

What a wonderful visual addition to Fiestas this is...and to Fiesta-lore.

Beautifully done....
Barbara Cleaver

Charles said...

Since the close of the second World War women increasingly abandoned skirt attire for the trousers they were first allowed to wear due to factory work for the war effort. Winning the war was more important than maintaining prohibitions against women wearing pants. Chicago for example rescinded city ordinance forbidding women to wear pants--January 21, 1943, page 24 New York Times. But upon examining clothes worldwide, history and other traditions---to burst the bubble I see at this blog--that skirts are "female," the Greek army in World War II wore skirts into battle. Pants originated as horseback costume and skirts in fact are sex neutral, once the problem of reasoning by association is recognized as giving rise to myths!

Anonymous said...

Diana - your collection is favulous. Thanks for sharing the photos. I wish we could have made it to your Fiesta party but alas my husband had already made plans (and non refundable) reservations for us out of town - perhaps next year ...

Anonymous said...

I happened to have a Jeanette Original. Gold with Brown. It is still in the plastic from the last time she took it to cleaners which had to be a long time ago. Looks like it was worn sparingly. Didn't see one like it on your page.

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